Film: Also Showing

Chance or Coincidence claude Lelouch (PG), Place Vendome nicole garcia (15), The Match mick davis (15) Goodbye Lover roland joffe (15), Doug's First Movie (U)

CLAUDE LELOUCH'S Chance or Coincidence opens with a shot of polar bears wrestling one another, and proceeds to encompass whirling dervishes in Turkey, cliff-divers in Acapulco, ice-hockey players in Toronto and art collectors in New York. What can it all mean? By its close, you may not be any the wiser, but the desultory travelogue that substitutes for narrative isn't without beguiling moments. At its centre is Myriam (Alessandra Martines), a dancer holidaying with her young son in Venice; here she falls in love with a charming art forger Pierre (Pierre Arditi), though their relationship has barely begun before tragedy envelops them.

Armed with a camcorder, Myriam jet-hops around the globe making holiday movies and contemplating suicide. Lelouch complements her anguished wanderings with the parallel story of a lecturer-cum-theatrical performer Marc (Marc Hollogne) who chances upon Myriam's stolen video camera and becomes obsessed by her. The suspicion that Lelouch is simply making it all up as he goes along won't necessarily vitiate your enjoyment, though you can't help wondering what this director might be capable of were he wise to the virtue of discipline. As it is, this scrappy, meandering yarn will entertain without any assurance of staying in the memory.

Discreetly expensive taste is the hallmark of Nicole Garcia's Place Vendome, a tale of intrigue (thriller would be pushing it) set in the upper echelons of the international gem business. After her disgraced jeweller-husband destroys himself, Marianne (Catherine Deneuve) emerges from the hinterland of alcoholism to confront ghosts from her past. These include her late husband's assistant (Emmanuelle Seigner) and a charming duplicitous jewel- dealer (Jacques Dutronc) whom she once loved.

Throw in a new lover (Jean-Pierre Bacri) and the shadowplay of Mafia involvement and you have on paper a seductive proposition. Sadly, the enterprise is hampered by funereal pacing and indecisive plotting: I never felt quite sure what was going on, and suspected I wouldn't care even if I did. As for Deneuve, age has weathered but not withered her - if anything it has made her face more hauntingly opaque. She's wonderful in that distracted, faintly tragic way of hers, but what dull films they put her in nowadays. Shot in a sombre palette of duns and greys, Place Vendome is as spiffy and elegant-looking as any film this year; it's also as remote and impersonal as a jeweller's window.

God spare us another Britflick about plucky underdogs. The Match is a pathetic and shameless knock-off of the blokes-under-pressure scenario that characterised The Full Monty, Brassed Off and many more imitators to come. For the record, it stars Max Beesley as Wullie Smith, a young milkman in the Scottish village of Inverdoune, where an annual pub football match is about to enjoy its centenary. This year, if the team from Benny's Bar lose - as they have done on the previous 99 occasions - then they forfeit ownership to rival landlord Gus (Richard E Grant), who plans to level it for a carpark.

So can the disabled Wully turn his bunch of toe-rags into match winners and save the pub? Oh, and can he also be reconciled to his alcoholic mum and win the love of childhood sweetheart Rosemary?

A more interesting question: how did this paltry project manage to secure the services of a top-drawer cast? Ian Holm, Bill Paterson, Tom Sizemore, Laura Fraser and Neil Morrissey all chip in, which must be testament to writer-director Mick Davis's powers of persuasion; it can't have been anything to do with artistic promise. The script tries to emulate the quaint Scots whimsy of Bill Forsyth, to mortifying effect, while its believe-in-yourself homilies are trite and mawkish. Max Beesley starts the film brightly enough, but is gradually overwhelmed by the responsibility of holding this jerry-built thing together. Difficult to pick a low point, but Richard E Grant's lamentable attempt at a Scots accent felt like an embarrassment too far.

They said it couldn't be done, but there is a film this week with even less to recommend it than The Match. Roland Joffe, seeking a change of pace from epics (The Killing Fields, The Mission) has tried his hand at black comedy in Goodbye Lover, and it's an absolute horror. Patricia Arquette stars as Sandra, a minx with a helmet of blonde hair and an eye on the main chance. She peps herself up on self-help tapes, The Sound of Music and the erotic ardour of PR whizz Ben (Don Johnson) - too bad she's married to his alcoholic brother Jake (Dermot Mulroney). (Lots of people hitting the bottle this week, film reviewers among them).

The plot is one of those tricksy layered numbers that revels in double- and triple-crossing us, but given how little we care for any of the characters, these convolutions seem pretty pointless.

Picking her way through the garbled plot is a police sergeant played by Ellen DeGeneres, whose sarcastic sparring with her straight-arrow deputy confirmed all my prejudices about her TV show: viz, not funny in the slightest. Joffe directs in an expensive screwball style, tilting the camera and tarting up the suspense with daft fantasy sequences. Watch out for Goodbye Director: The Roland Joffe Story.

Doug's First Movie is Disney's latest spin-off from yet another cartoon series I've never seen. Doug, a mild-mannered schoolboy, seemed rather bland for an animated hero, but one must assume that kids love him. The story concerns his rescue and defence of a cuddly reptilian, whose most striking virtue is his refusal to act like Barney - so none of that god- awful singing. Harmless stuff, in other words, though I won't be counting the days until Doug's second movie.

AQ

Arts and Entertainment
'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
tvReview: Bread-making skills of the Bake Off hopefuls put to the test
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architecture
Arts and Entertainment
Cliff Richard performs at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam on 17 May 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Educating the East End returns to Channel 4 this autumn

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush

music
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Mark Crown, DJ Locksmith and Amir Amor of Rudimental performing on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park, Birmingham

music
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014

Edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Capaldi and Chris Addison star in political comedy The Thick of IT

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Judy Murray said she

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014

edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.

Edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Seoul singer G-Dragon could lead the invasion as South Korea has its sights set on Western markets
music
Arts and Entertainment
Gary Lineker at the UK Premiere of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Bale as Batman in a scene from
film
Arts and Entertainment
Johhny Cash in 1969
musicDyess Colony, where singer grew up in Depression-era Arkansas, opens to the public
Arts and Entertainment
Army dreamers: Randy Couture, Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren and Jason Statham
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tvReview: It's not going to set the comedy world alight but it's a gentle evening watch
Arts and Entertainment
Umar Ahmed and Kiran Sonia Sawar in ‘My Name Is...’
Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
This year's Big Brother champion Helen Wood
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Full company in Ustinov's Studio's Bad Jews
Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Harari Guido photographed Kate Bush over the course of 11 years
Music
Arts and Entertainment
Reviews have not been good for Jonathan Liebesman’s take on the much loved eighties cartoon
Film

A The film has amassed an estimated $28.7 million in its opening weekend

Arts and Entertainment
Untwitterably yours: Singer Morrissey has said he doesn't have a twitter account
Music

A statement was published on his fansite, True To You, following release of new album

Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
    eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

    eBay's enduring appeal

    The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

    'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
    Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

    Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

    Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
    Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

    Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

    After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
    Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

    Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

    After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
    Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

    Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

    Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
    7 best quadcopters and drones

    Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

    From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home